Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on an editorial in Saturday’s Washington Post on reforms released by the Vatican:

It would be hard to find a more wrongheaded editorial on the recently released Vatican reforms on clergy sexual abuse than was published May 11 by the Washington Post.

“The essential problem” of clergy sexual abuse, the paper says, lies squarely with the bishops for “enabling pedophile priests.” Wrong: The molesting priests were homosexuals, not pedophiles, and while some bishops acted badly, had homosexual priests not acted out in the first place there would have been no role for the bishops. The “essential problem” is the miscreant priest, not his bishop.

The editorial is furious that the bishops will remain in charge of investigations, criticizing their “all but absolute” authority.

When sexual misconduct occurs at the Washington Post, who authorizes a probe? The reporters don’t do it. Outside investigators don’t make that decision. It falls to the top brass at the paper, doesn’t it? In short, it falls to those who exercise “all but absolute” authority.

What makes this editorial so scandalous is the astounding duplicity of the Washington Post. Just recently it was accused of killing a story by Irin Carmon and Amy Brittain who were looking into the alleged sexual misconduct of “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager. The top brass at the paper has a cozy relationship with the program and, it is charged, didn’t want to dig any deeper into Fager’s problems.

Given the irresponsibility of the top brass at the Washington Post, should they not outsource all future cases of sexual misconduct to outside investigators? Time for these hypocrites to take some of their own medicine before lecturing the pope.

Contact Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor:

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